Regional Transit is a Little Too Real

I’ve just completed the 110% weirdest week of my life.

It started Monday morning being rear-ended some young, Latino, hit and run driver.  Since that momentous occasion, I have been riding Regional Transit to work, and back.

I can tell you this much about Regional Transit, it sucks.  It makes me want to take a plaster cast of my carbon footprint, tie high explosives to it, and blow the whole concept to smithereens.

Let me give you an example of how much I am enjoying regional transit.  Today is Sunday right?  It’s Mother’s Day too.  So I have an important project going at work and I need to travel the 25 miles to the office, but without a car.

SO, desiring to be at work close to 8AM in order to get a full day of work in, I leave the house at about 6:30 AM because to walk – briskly – to the bus stop will take me about 30 minutes and the bus will leave that stop at 7:05 AM.  So I am briskly walking while sneezing and wiping my nose when I come to a cross street where a man in a pickup is driving.  Anyone driving in Midtown, Sacramento at 6:30 AM on a Sunday is some sort of mutant.  I mean it looks like the Omega Man out there, nobody is stirring, not a car, not a homeless person, not a cat, nobody, nowhere, not anywhere. But nonetheless, there is this guy.  He stops for me to cross the crosswalk.  This is odd because he does not have to, he has the right of way.  He has no stop sign.  I figure he’s some sort of Christian who has to deliver bagels to the church by 7 AM so I wave at the kindly bagel-delivering soul and cross the walk.  As I near the other side of the street, the man pulls forward in his pickup and rolls down the window and begins to heckle me.  That’s right, he heckled me!  He called out something disparaging about “He’s likes Jimmy…” I glared at the asshole and he drove off so I turned and walked off indignant and wondering what in the hell was he on when it suddenly occurred to me that the rotten SOB NASCAR fanatic was heckling me about my lunch box.  It’s a NASCAR lunch box I got on sale in a discount store (what can I say? I needed a lunch box).  It was about $3.99 I think and it’s a cooler to boot.  Such a deal!  I’m not a NASCAR fan and have never even watched a whole race.  I find NSACAR boring, inane, stupid, red neck, and a huge waste of fuel and rubber, but some people dig it so live and let die in fiery horrible, unnecessary crashes, up to you.  But there I was being heckled as a fan of Jimmy Johnson who’s number 48 and signature is all over my lunch box.

I get to the bus and take a seat.  There is a guy on board from New Jersey about my age who’s headed for a casino for some gambling and some buffet (the parmesan chicken, he tells me, is sublime). He takes a shine to me and he moves to a seat within earshot.  I am trying to write the great American novel and do not welcome the interruption but he does not seem to have any intuition about such things and begins rambling on and on, and on. As people from the East Coast seem to have a tendency to do, they are GREAT at conversation.

He was a nice man and we have a nice enough conversation.  But I do not ride the bus for conversation.  I share with him the reason I am on the bus, that some SOB crashed into me last Monday and ruined my Honda and now I have to ride the bus until the insurance company finishes screwing me so all I receive is grocery money for a couple of weeks.

We talk about pollen and eletron micoscopic pictures of barbed pollen and he shares how he swabs out of his nostrils with 20-30 Q-tips which he said he also shared with his son who told him TMI (too much information, I wondered to myself how many times he needs to hear this to get the message). He confides his belief that keeping one’s orifices clean is of utmost importance.

He then shares with me his indelible belief that the hit and run driver was with great certainty a sex offender, or a parolee, because those people are ALWAYS responsible for hit and run accidents.  I was unaware that sex offenders are such profligate hit and runners but I was edified today and I shall be forever vigilant and grateful for the word to the wise, who I shall endeavor to be. Sex offenders beware, I am on to your little hit and run gambit.

I walked to work from the bus stop and Woodland, California was almost as desolate of people and cars as everywhere else.  And yet even though I am happy as hell to be in a world so devoid of people, there is one coming at me anyway.  The man is walking directly toward me, there’s no avoiding him, as he crosses the street.  As I pass this man he says to me as clear as a bell, “I’m already done.” I’m pleased for him, but he’s not as done with humanity as I am at 8AM on a Sunday morning so I do not respond and walk on to the office where I work until about 5:15 PM without a break mind you.

After work, I walk to the bus stop to go home fully intending to ride the bus, the catch the light rail to a couple blocks from my home. Thayt doesn’t work out because the damned driver announces that this is a Sunrise Train when it should, by my experience, be a Folsom bound train so I freak out and jump off tinking I am headed to Watt Avenue where all the hooker s are and in the end it was the right train but they must run an abbreviated route on Sundays so I end up walking about 27 blocks home.  I am not happy, I am tired, I am hungry, and I am covetous of anyone with a car.

I’m sitting there on a cement retaining wall waiting for my bue in Woodland, with my back against a newspaper box where you can pay far too much for a daily paper.  A local bus arrives, not the one I am waiting for, and two men get off, one a young Asian guy and an older Black guy.  They walk off behind me into the parking lot that lies between the bus stop and the line of box stores.  I make a couple pf calls for Mother’s Day, one to my Mom and another to an old friend who refers to herself as my Mom #2.  I am talking to Mom #2 and while talking I am smelling something burning.  So I start to wonder if someone set the newspaper dispenser behind me on fire so I turn around while talking to look and I see that the black man is standing alarmingly close to me just the other side of the blue newspaper box.  I stand up feeling threatened by his proximity and I look down and see a growing pool of liquid pooling near the block wall.  I look down and see that the black man has his black penis out urinating on the newspaper box. I exclaim to him that he could warn a guy he’s going to do that when someone is sitting right there and I walk way having to explain the situation to Mom #2 who is in hysterics (I do not share her hilarity).

My sad day on RT ended with me getting on the light rail for the last leg home.  I take the Folsom train and suddenly the woman is saying this is the Sunrise Train.  My brain begins to panic as I am thinking Sunrise, Watt Avenue (where the hookers roam free) and I decide it’s the wrong bloody train and get off at the 8th Street station.  The train leaves me in a swirl of leaves and pollen and in looking at the map on a kiosk I see that in fact the Folsom train does not go to Folsom on Sunday evening but stops short at Sunrise. There I am alone and about 28 blocks from home.  I walk home from there in a sincerely cranky mood.

I am 100% certain that reducing my carbon footprint is not worth all this. My great grand children (if I ever have any) can learn to adapt to a warmer environment, grow fins, I don’t give a damn, I’m getting another car.

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